Prior Convictions: Till death do us part


Question: If you could only drive one brand's cars for the rest of your life, which brand would it be?

It's a fairly trivial 'desert island cars' kinda question, granted. But I don't necessarily think the answer is trivial, for reasons I'll come back to.

In the meantime, though, as I imagine it, you'd have access to any car from one car maker, from today's range or from any point in its history. And as time goes on, you can drive whatever new models it introduces. The model you wanted to drive would just be there whenever you wanted to drive somewhere, free, fuelled, and in perfect factory condition.

I'm thinking road cars, btw, not racing cars, although homologation specials would be OK.


And when I say 'brand', I mean individual brand, not group or any affiliates. So if you chose BMW, as well you might, you'd get M cars but not Minis or Alpinas. No modifications, re-imaginings and so on, either. It's stock, factory fresh cars, and that's it, for life.

So who's it to be?

I don't think the list of contenders would be a very lengthy one. Wonderful though the idea of driving some sports cars is, what about when you wanted to go to the tip? What happens if you get sciatica as a dotard? Bravo if you think you can drive only a Caterham between now and the day you croak, but I'm not taking the cat to the vet's in one.

A Porsche, though, I suspect one could quite easily manage. I suppose you'd have to really like 911s, but it's mostly all there in the historic or current range: supercars, sports cars, convertibles, family wagons, 4x4s.


Mercedes-Benz and, to a lesser extent, BMW, have it broader, more diverse. It wouldn't seem a particular hardship even if you could only select just one decade of their respective cars to drive.

Which leaves, in my mind, two others: Ford and Toyota. Toyota nails practicality and ruggedness, might seem a bit light on the supercar front but there was the GT One roadgoing Le Mans car, the 2000 GT is achingly lovely and it has had some belting small sports cars over time.

Ford has no fewer than two roadgoing Le Mans cars, another pastiche of one and all the ruggedness and practicality you could want, too. It has Mustangs, the impossibly good Racing Puma, and what I think is colloquially known as 'a shit ton' of wicked rally and touring car derived specials. It might not have ever made anything as plush as Mercedes, but you'd never be bored, which I suppose is part of the appeal.


I could um, and ah and ruminate about this - and occasionally on a road trip, with a mate alongside, I probably will - for years. Because while it seems like - is - a trivial question, I think the answer tells you quite a lot. What you're really deciding is not just what you'd like to drive, but who, in all history, has consistently made the most desirable cars in the world.

Today I'm erring towards Mercedes-Benz, with Toyota a close second. But tomorrow those could quite easily be reversed. And the day after it could quite easily be somebody else.

[Images: Karissa Hosek, Patrick Ernzen and Darin Schnabel for RM Auctions]

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Comments (127) Join the discussion on the forum

  • WTFWT 02 Feb 2018

    Lancia.

    One of the few times Top Gear got it right.

  • cerb4.5lee 02 Feb 2018

    I think it would be Ford for me, I love their back catalogue of XR/RS models, and I love Mustangs and I'd have fun in a Fiesta/Focus ST.

  • stuckmojo 02 Feb 2018

    I was about to say Porsche but it has to be Mercedes. Not a sector in which they haven't delivered the best at least once through their journey

  • 99dndd 02 Feb 2018

    Audi could be a decent shout, with the R8 ticking the supercar box, the TT ticking the weekend car box and a lovely range of fast saloons and estates.

  • Fury1630 02 Feb 2018

    WTFWT said:
    Lancia.

    One of the few times Top Gear got it right.
    I think there was a built in assumption that you wanted to arrive smile

    Ford for me. RS200 most of the time, Transit for everything else.

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